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Thread: Building a better Warhammer

  1. #1

    Building a better Warhammer

    Over the past couple of days, I've been thinking a lot about fantasy miniatures, mostly due to the fact that Narnia fully rocked. As I left the theater, I turned to my wife and said "If only Warhammer could do battles that cool."

    Veteran (and frustrated) High Elf player that she is, she agreed.

    Having read and participated in lots of discussions about Warhammer over the past five years, I distilled the criticisms with it into four main areas:

    1. The profile
    2. The game system
    3. The army selection process
    4. The magic system.

    I immediately dropped magic because it's really an add-on that is the easiest to fix.

    That left me with the big three.

    It is kind of a paradox that the profile used in WHFB is both the strongest and weakest point.

    It is strong because it has stood the test of time and is pretty intuitive. Most people can easily relate to how fast something moves, how well it hits something, how tough it is, etc.

    GW has tweaked this from time to time, but the basic concept is pretty much set in stone.

    My first question was: Does this really work?

    After some of the debates this summer, I don't think it does. WS doesn't count for enough and Strength counts for too much.

    In fact, looking over the profile, it seemed to me that many of the aspects didn't need to be included.

    So my starting point was to consolidate the stat line into what was really useful.

    Now as a veteran gamer, I understand that we like numbers. Indeed, the more possible variants the better. You can see this in the old hex-based games where they went from one "combat strength" to "attack" and "defense" and later to "Close attack," "armor attack" and so forth.

    We love numbers.

    So I fully expect that a lot of people are already wary of cutting down on the stat line.

    Anyhow, the first thing I did was agree on what SHOULD stay. That was easy: Movement, Ballistic Skill and Leadership.

    All of these are very important. For my purposes, I renamed them to make them fit better with the RPG I'm also working on (the rules are over 100 pages and I think we've got the magic system down - finally).

    Some measure of health is also important, so I kept that.

    This left the main melee combat skill - which I creatively named Melee Skill.

    This is a catch-all for WS and S. A combination if you will.

    Finally, armor is important and so is toughness. I combined these into a Save stat.

    So the final profile looks like this:

    MS AS SV HL MV ML

    MS is Melee Skill
    AS is Archery Skill
    SV is your armor/toughness save
    HL is Health level
    MV is Movement
    ML is Morale

    So what does a "normal" human look like?

    Well, that brought me to the second point: the system.

    GW uses a 10 point system with 6-sided dice, which doesn't work that well. Originally, it meant that a lot of troops couldn't hurt other troops.

    GW figured out that people didn't like this, so they toned it down. The effect is that it is effectively a 6-point system with some outliers.

    My reasoning was that it would be easier to just use a 6-point system and have special rules for the outliers, so that's what I did.

    MS is rated 1 to 6. That way, everyone has at least a chance of hitting everyone else. I use the same table as the GW wounding one (so if it's equal, you hit on a 4+, one better a 3+, one worse 5+ and so on to a maximum of 6+ and a minimum of 2+).

    In practice, the MS 1 troops do rather poorly against their "betters," but that was my intention.

    This allows un- or lightly- armored troops to plow through the rabble as they should.

    an MS 4 Elf will simply tear up a bunch of MS 2 gitlings (my version of goblins).

    Of course, MS isn't all there is to it. Once you hit, you also need to wound.

    In WHFB as we all know, this is where S and T come in and a lot of problems start.

    High Elves and other high WS troops simply don't matter as much as S. Indeed, as several folks have pointed out, S is arguably the most important stat in the game as it can negate Toughness AND armor.

    I'm using a similar scale for armor (light armor 6+, add +1 for shield, etc.) but the maximum is a 2+. Particularly tough creatures might get a bonus on their save, but the maximum is still 2+.

    So basically you hit and then they save.

    I'm getting ahead of myself, but I know people are already saying "Great, so how do you kill cavalry?"

    I have two answers for you. The first is that weapons have an Armor Penetration number that helps cut into armor. Great Weapons are AP 2. Lances are AP 2 on the charge. Spears are AP 1 if used two-handed (no shield).

    The other way is that certain big creatures (ogres, for example) get an integral AP on their profile.

    The final change I made was to morale. I really don't like how you are either broken or totally fine. There is no "disorder" or anything like it.

    So rather than go with a number, morale is a letter from A to E. When you need to make a morale check, you roll on a table and the results are no effect (you're fine), disorder (ranks disrupted, may not charge or fight/shoot in two ranks) and rout.

    The table uses 2d6 and A is similar to Ld 10 in terms of odds, but the results are more graduated. Basically it's easier than doing a "margin of failure".

    So a basic human man-at-arms with sword, shield and light armor would have the following stats:

    MS 3
    AS 3
    SV 5
    HL 1
    MV 4
    ML C

    For contrast, here is what an elf looks like:

    MS 4
    AS 4
    SV 4
    HL 1
    MV 5
    ML B

    Finally, here a gitling:

    MS 2
    AS 3
    SV 6
    HL 1
    MV 4
    ML D

    Anyhow, that's all I have time for right now. I'll post the whole rules once I get them tightened down a bit.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 07-08-2008 at 02:07.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  2. #2
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    It reads well, makes sense (that's a curse sometimes). Since I want to keep in touch with this thread, I decided to chime in.

    By the by, the writers of the 6th Edition rules have a statement in the rulebook that makes it clear (at least to me), that threads and efforts such as this, are a very important part of what they hoped to encourage WHFB players to do........Think.
    I am therefore I think OR I think therefore I am?

  3. #3

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    argh...i love that ur trying to change the system, and i like these rules, but im only just getting into the current rules, and this system does some big restrictions on stats. e.g a blood thirster would be mele skill 6 under these rules, but then so would a lord of change, or a lord choice. it does restrict. nonetheless this is minor, and could be worked around. and this way, elves would infact be superior to otherwise almost the same stat line gobbos. good luck with this

    EDIT: light alliance members will also be commenting on this soon enough (i sent them hyperlink)
    Last edited by crashbang; 23-12-2005 at 20:18.

  4. #4

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurglitch
    So basically you're re-inventing the wheel? Not a dig at you, but it seems more like you're designing a new game for use with Warhammer models than improving the WFB game.
    Actually, it really is a seperate game. It started as "What little things need fixing" and went downhill from there.

    I want it to be fairly applicable so that anyone can use it for their fantasy world but yes, I am designing it with my own background fluff in mind.

    Earlier today I ran some mock combats to see how things stack up. So far, so good.

    The high MS units just rip through the chaff, and points will have to reflect this.

    On the other hand, all the chaff's attacks will add up and even heroes can be buried by bodies.

    But you are correct. As I go through this (I'm on skirmishers now) I am subjecting each and every facet of the game to a test:

    Is this necessary?
    Does it matter?
    What would I lose if I got rid of it?
    Can I make it easier and more intuitive?

    Getting ahead of myself for a minute, I've eliminated the entire CR system. It's not all that intuitive and leads to some strange contortions.

    I am giving a bonus for having lots of ranks, but it is morale-based and morale really decides what happens on the battlefield.

    To put it another way, I'm doing morale similar to how some of the historical games I play do it: First one side rolls, if they "stick," the other side rolls. If they "stick," the fight goes on.

    One thing that my (admittedly limited) playtesting has shown is that when you cut out the "middle stat" (the S vs T thing) you get a LOT higher casualty rate.

    As I said, high MS troops plow up inferior ones and if you give them great weapons, it's good night for the spanks.

    I know you may be thinking "Great, so you made High Elves unbeatable. Good job."

    Not quite. You see, I consider melee to be simultaneous, so even if your front rank gets creamed, the rear ranks still swing.

    What this does is give you a much more game-focused (as opposed to rules-focused) reason for having deep formations. Those dense blocks of gitlings may die easy, but they just keep coming.

    This also prevents the "bloodless battle" problem that some people have with WHFB where you win by CR rather than actually fighting.

    So ranks DO matter, just in a different and more directly applicable way.

    Getting back to the profile for a minute, by using this format, I've cut down on a lot of other rules, like cavalry and so forth. You see, there are no horses. Horses give you a save bonus and a movement bonus, that's it.

    So far, knights seem to do pretty well. I'll see if that holds up.

    Now, as far as WHFB monsters, yes, there is some detail being lost. In my first post I recognized that we love numbers. Even if the numbers don't mean much ("Ooh, he's initiative 10, better than that other guy's initiative 9!") we like to have them there.

    The thing is, those numbers don't really fluctuate that much. When you get down to it, goblins aren't all that different from high elves.

    No one is going to mistake a gitling for an elf with this system.

    I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.
    Thanks. I've been cranking on this since yesterday morning and it's starting to come together. (A big help was that I had an almost-finished rule set for WW II so the template was already there for me to fill in).

    What with the holday, I'm not sure how much computer time I'll get, but I'll be sure to dig this out and update it.

    In the mean time, let me know what you think of my design concepts at least.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 24-12-2005 at 00:31.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  5. #5

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Just a quick note. My earlier post indicated that missile troops could shoot in two ranks. Since I'm using two shooting phases, that is now out.

    Carry on and Merry Christmas.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  6. #6

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Well, I have a draft of the rules. I'll post them as soon as I can figure a way to get them out into the ether.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  7. #7
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Going to take a short, midweek holiday. Hope to read the rules when we(I) get back.
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  8. #8
    Chapter Master Easy E's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    The Morale system sounds like it involves a great deal of charts. Is there a seperate one for each letter, or is it a sliding scale? Do you startat say B and then as casualties accrue you can slide down to a C or D?

    I am interested to see how this comes together, and how user friendly it is.
    Do you like free wargames?
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  9. #9

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    one thing i'd like to know,as i may get my mates to playtest this. how did you determine stats for certain units. did u do averageing (S+WS divided by 2) or did u do some other method? if so, did you round the Ms up or down in the case of, say 4.5?

    i believe that heroes and monsters should be allowed to go above MS 6 personally, it would sort them out from the elite units. overall i like where this is going, and think that some Gw developers should keep an eye on it.

  10. #10

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by crashbang
    one thing i'd like to know,as i may get my mates to playtest this. how did you determine stats for certain units. did u do averageing (S+WS divided by 2) or did u do some other method? if so, did you round the Ms up or down in the case of, say 4.5?
    No, I used a six point scale.

    1 = untrained
    2 = poor
    3 = trained
    4 = veteran
    5 = elite
    6 = legendary

    This provides a good deal of variation and puts most of the emphasis on skill rather than power.

    Certain weapons confer armor penetration, as do monstrous creatures.

    i believe that heroes and monsters should be allowed to go above MS 6 personally, it would sort them out from the elite units.
    An elite unit is MS 5. And that would be a very, very elite unit. Think Grail Knights or Swordmasters. Most armies will only reach MS 5 for their characters.

    Remember, this works like the current S vs T, so a unit with even MS 4 vs MS 2 is going to hit on 2+ and will only be hit back on 6+.

    Since I don't want anyone to be unhittable, going beyond MS 6 was out of the question.

    overall i like where this is going, and think that some Gw developers should keep an eye on it.
    Gee, thanks.

    Okay, I playtested last night and it goes pretty damn fast. I made a couple of changes (gave characters an extra attack) and so forth.

    Here is a site with the documents on it. Download and be amazed.

    The three documents are the army lists, main rules and a summary sheet.

    One thing I should warn you about is that since I've broken so completely with WHFB, I'm using my proprietary fluff. The conversion is pretty easy though.

    These parallels aren't totally exact, but they're pretty close to what people are used to dealing with.

    If folks really like the system, we can do mass conversions to the WHFB army lists.

    Goblin = gitling
    Weirland = Empire
    Red Knights = Bretonnia
    Borean = orc
    Yagur = black orc

    Enjoy!
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  11. #11
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    For heroes and monsters, I would suggest taking a look at the Lord of the Rings mechanics, and adding Might, Will and Fate points, or their equivalent. That way you can distinguish powerful, hard to kill or arcane individuals without going over 6 on any stat.

  12. #12
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint
    After some of the debates this summer, I don't think it does. WS doesn't count for enough and Strength counts for too much.
    If people were able to hit on 2+ then I think that it would make it alot more WS orentated but it would just make high ws characters too good....


    But for new stats everyone loves random charts right? why not generate befor the battle with a d66 chart!
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  13. #13

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Obviously this is the very first draft so I expect there may be signifcant changes.

    Regarding characters, I'm open to the notion of special rules that apply only to them, however one of the big differences between this and WHFB or LOTR is that I have an actual scale: 1 model = ten real figures.

    That means the power of characters is going to be a little diminished.

    The other thing I want to avoid is having combat effectively decided by CR. The only reason why characters can't take on whole units in WHFB is CR, which is the convoluted mechanism that keeps an otherwise unrealistic and ungainly miniatures system on the rails.

    I don't really use CR. I let the units fight it out and then test to see who has had enough, which is a more traditional (and IMO) realistic approach.

    It is still possible (and likely) for small units of excellent troops to hammer mediocre ones and send them running. It is also possible for big blocks of decent troops to resist hard-hitting elites, since I give them a morale bonus.

    But the bonus of having more ranks won't help you if your unit is being chewed up and spit out.

    I like the notion of big battalions being better. That's why cavalry are 5 models and infantry are 20. And yes, I am planning on offering different sizes of units. But additional models will be cheaper, since mostly they will be there to enhance morale (adding ranks) and stave off being broken.

    I think GW understands this by doing the 25 percent threshold for a break check.

    My problem is that realistically, when units lose that many troops (especially units of average or below-average troops) they tend to fall apart.

    This morale system punishes even elite units if they take heavy losses, which I like.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  14. #14
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Wellll.......What I've got looks good, so far. I started with the second list, then did the Army lists.

    When I tried to print the Summary, the worm on a paperclip said the "stuff" was outside the margins did I want to continue. Then, fini worm. the two pages for the summery were gone to. I can't get it back.

    I know, it's my messup.....Help. Thank you oh great one.
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  15. #15
    Chapter Master big squig's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Not to rag on you, but your stats look suspiciously like the ones from LOTR.

  16. #16

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by big squig
    Not to rag on you, but your stats look suspiciously like the ones from LOTR.
    All stats that use a similar engine are going to look "suspiciously alike."

    I freely admit that I took inspiration from several sources, including Warhammer and LotR. Also included in that list is the Brigade Series from The Gamers and Napoleon's Battles (despite the fact that I really dislike Napoleonics).

    While I have the LotR books, I've never actually played them. I actually had to open the book to see what the character profile was and whether you were right. I did remember that LotR had a combined save/toughness and I thought that was a good idea so I used it. But my primary motivation for doing so was the debates we had last summer over high WS troops vs low WS high S troops.

    So in the end, it's fairly coincidental.

    The Morale system really sets this game apart. There is no Psychology, just morale. I may use add some aspects in, but that is some ways off. I have to make sure the core system works.

    The thing about morale is that it isn't just a number, it's a variable rating, which I why I used a letter. Your morale state is influenced by your losses, whether you are in Disorder, and so forth. It is therefore quite likely for a Morale A unit to see its effective leadership reduced because it of events on the battlefield.

    Similarly, I wanted to get away from GW's CR system. Killing more people should count for a lot - more than ranks, actually, but I wanted them all to be factors.

    The way morale works also helps give an advantage to chargers: defender tests first, regardless of who takes the most losses. this was important because I got rid of the very unrealistic GW system that has the front rank die and no one behind them having the brains/coordination/time to swing back. It's pretty laughable and arguably one of the weakest points in GW's system.

    If you look at the problems with balance regarding cavalry, great weapons, etc., you can see most of them originate with this convention.

    With my rules, cavalry still hits very hard and can do some major damage. This comes from four sources:

    1. Mobility. Cavary is more likely to get the charge. This in turn forces the defender to test against morale, even if they mave more troops and somehow win the combat. What this simulates is that often infantry simply broke in response to their fear of cavalry.

    Cavalry mobility also makes it more likely to get flank/rear attacks.

    2. Hitting power. Lances are nasty, but the real strength of cavalry is the high skill of its knights. A knightly unit will tear up less troops in terms of losses. It will also avoid getting hit because of its skill.

    3. Protection. Cavalry gets better saves and without S or T, this matters a lot more. I also scaled back save mods so that when they do happen (lances, great weapons) they are significant.

    4. Morale. Cavalry units almost always have excellent morale and this means that even if they lose, they will tend to "stick." This is also critical for knightly units that wish to countercharge.

    Now looking over that list, I know some of you are thinking "Geez, isn't cavalry overpowering enough? Why make it worse?"

    Certainly I designed the game with the knightly ideal in mind. I don't use war machines or gunpowder because they aren't high fantasy (though rules for these can be put together for those of you who wish to stay in the Warhammer world).

    But what I wanted to achieve was a more realistic feel for a high medieval army and this is where the fill-in rule comes into its own. Even with all those advantages, cavalry still fears a head-on clash with decent infantry armed with great weapons. This is because even if the front rank dies, the rear ranks will still tear them up. This is particularly true if the unit has decent MS and good morale.

    One of the fun things about designing a new system is that you get to go over everything. The real annoying thing is that in the early stages, you have to constantly fix stuff.

    So those of you that have downloaded the rules, keep in mind that I was typing pretty fast and if stuff doesn't download properly, just wait a few days because I'll probably have a newer and more expanded version.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  17. #17

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    After some additional playtesting, I have tightened the rules up a bit.

    Here are the latest offerings.

    What did I change? I realized that I had gone too far in limiting missile fire, so I deleted a negative to hit modifier. Missile units are super expensive and either they need to be worth it or cheapened considerably. For now, I'm going with the "worth it." We'll see how that works out.

    I also decided that melee combat wasn't as decisive as I wanted. Not that figures don't drop right and left, but morale-wise the units are still too durable. So instead of a base -2 if you take more losses, you actually suffer a modifier equal to the margin of your defeat, which is to say your losses.

    This can be offset if you have more ranks, are on a flank, etc, but I wanted units that were really pasted to pay for it.

    I cleaned up the pursuit rules, dropping the "stand and slaughter" option which was kind of silly anyway and not worth trying. Now it's pursue/don't pursue and unlike GW, you don't have to test to refrain from pursuit.

    I always thought that was kind of strange. Seems to me the natural inclination after winning a fight is to chill out, not go running off after them. If that were the case, hardly anyone would ever get away. So I changed it.

    I clarified some other areas, fixed typos and tightened things down overall.

    I only made two changes most people will notice (assuming you've even played it yet) and those are in regards to characters and crossbows.

    I created a new rule for "swarming" characters. Per my previous post about how I don't like using CR to curb the menace characters present to formed units, I'm allowing units to "swarm" over individual character models, completely surrounding them if they are on their own. This is what would happen, after all, so we'll see how it works.

    Crossbows now have the option to fire whenever they want to and wait a turn to reload. Hmmm, can crossbows move and reload? I'd say no, but let them move and shoot. Any thoughts?
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  18. #18

    will it still be fantasy

    okay, now im gonna be evil and ask u some really nasty stuff

    *how are you gonna represent the ultra hard warriors of khorne, and other such beasties? the system u have now dosnt give them the killing capability they are capable of, and should be, unless you give them a hell of alot

    *monstrous mounts, what rules will be made for these?

    *same for artillery

    *what will happen to the psychology and main special rules? they didnt neccesarily unbalance the game, and would be good

    *ogre kingdoms: what mele skill will the basic ogres be given? their bull charge rules could be unbalancing in these games.

    *can magic items still be used in this version?

    *will magic be incorporated?

    *how will chariots work?

    i know im scratching these up, but i really am hoping you dont get rid of the things which make fantasy, well fantasy. im trusting u not to do that. so no pressure. good luck

  19. #19

    Re: will it still be fantasy

    Quote Originally Posted by crashbang
    okay, now im gonna be evil and ask u some really nasty stuff
    The most important thing right now is to make sure the underlying system is sound. What you are talking about is what wargamers used to call "chrome," the special rules that added some glitter but weren't really core features of the game.

    One of the problems with Warhammer is that when you get down to it, the chrome is too important. Don't get me wrong, they've toned it down a lot, but it is still a dominant feature of the game.

    In reconceptualizing fantasy combat, I have to first get back to the basics. Once these are clear and solid, I can worry about going for specialty units.

    I should also point out that GW's system is built to emphasize often superficial differences between units. Some folks live for these special rules, but I find them increasingly silly and tedious. In many ways, it's like the old rule in 2nd ed 40k where you had to roll scatter for each jump pack each time it jumped: neat fluff, very characterful and a complete and utter pain in the @ss. I happen to like 2nd ed. a heck of a lot, but I don't bother with that any more.

    *how are you gonna represent the ultra hard warriors of khorne, and other such beasties? the system u have now dosnt give them the killing capability they are capable of, and should be, unless you give them a hell of alot
    Actually, if I get them a high MS, I'll probably greatly increase their killing power beyond anything in WHFB. As it stands, they never are better than 3+ to hit and then must wound, two filters that usually halve the potential killing power of a unit.

    If I'm really motivated, I could give Khornites +1 attack, Slannesh a morale rating of X (unbreakable) and Nurgle fear. Tzeentch will have to wait until magic is developed.

    *monstrous mounts, what rules will be made for these?
    Gosh, I'd have to make the rules for monsters first, wouldn't I?

    *same for artillery
    This is actually pretty easy, but also not a priority. I expect artillery will be a lot less effective because I think it is too powerful right now (for that, all my fellow Empire players will ban me from game play).

    [quote]*what will happen to the psychology and main special rules? they didnt neccesarily unbalance the game, and would be good[/qutoe]

    No, but they did confuse it and if you look at what they did, I think there are other, easier mechanisms to accomplish similar things.

    *ogre kingdoms: what mele skill will the basic ogres be given? their bull charge rules could be unbalancing in these games.
    Don't own the army book, don't care about them. Sorry to be cold, but there you are.

    *can magic items still be used in this version?
    Yes, but they will be rare far less important.

    *will magic be incorporated?
    Yes, but see above.

    *how will chariots work?
    They won't. I think chariots are stupid. But I may make up rules anyway because some folks seem to like them.

    i know im scratching these up, but i really am hoping you dont get rid of the things which make fantasy, well fantasy. im trusting u not to do that. so no pressure. good luck
    I don't think most of those things make fantasy, well, fantasy. I think they make it silly.

    Chariots came into being because horses were too small to carry riders. Once horses could be bred large enough, they went the way of the dodo and disappeared - except in backwaters where they were done in by technologically superior armies.

    That being said, I may come up with something.

    But to me, the core of the game is medieval armies smashing into each other, led by valiant and powerful characters.

    I also want monsters to be important and scary and not to need to be ridden in to battle.

    But mostly my intent is to let the numbers speak for themselves. My goal is to design a clean, clear system that focuses on core combat, not special rules.

    I know that a lot of people are going to be turned off because I'm not going to blind them with numbers or burden them with dozens of army-specific special rules. Oh well.

    This is a more transparent game (that is, you will be able to point your own stuff) and so far my playtests have had plenty of character to them.

    For example, knights are hard, very hard, but yagurs with great weapons chew them up quite well. Not a good idea to charge them.

    Similarly archers are scary but brittle. The real focus of the game is on good tactics and line regiments pounding each other.

    If my next game works out (and I think it will), I'll move on to some of the more exotic stuff like monsters.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  20. #20

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    I figure I'll put it up on TMP when things are less fluid. Since you guys are my sounding board, I feel a bit more comfortable "thinking out loud" here.

    In terms of mechanics, the best place to go is the holding site for the rules, where you can see (almost) everything that I've written so far. I just noticed that I don't have rules for two hand weapons though, so I have to put that in there as well. Also, it's looking like archers are pointed a bit too high, so I'm going to have to tackle that as well.

    Now, in terms of mechanics, the game uses the old IGO-UGO system with some exceptions. I think that this works well for games of this sort, where huge linear armies march toward each other.

    Turn sequence goes like this:

    Movement
    Shooting
    Melee Combat
    Rally

    Movement starts with chargers and then other moves. I like the way that works so I see little point in changing stuff. Chargers may measure before declaring, (this game fully embraces free measurement) and there are charge reactions such as flee, stand there and a new one: emergency formation change, which I still haven't tried out yet. It seems like a good idea, but it may get tossed.

    Shooting is divided into two sub-phases: the non-moving player shoots first, then the moving player does. This readily incorporates the "stand and shoot" option, while providing more interaction.

    This makes shooting pretty powerful, which is why I'm very stingy with AS and charge a high point cost for missile troops. Historically missile troops were elites and I'm keeping with that.

    From there we go to melee combat, which is generally simultaneous and both sides whack at each other.

    Finally, we hit the Rally Phase where units may attempt to pull themselves together - even those that broke and routed that turn.

    So far, the system seems to be working, I'm just tinkering around the edges, mostly. Assigning points values is probably the hardest part simply because I'm having to build my own frame of reference.

    Right up there with the lists is making sure the rules are authoritative. Writing rules is hard work, particularly if you don't have a large staff and the luxury of making it your full-time job.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

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